9 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2008 7:15 AM by llaferte

    Direct Attach SATA 4TB Storage Solution

    llaferte Level 1
      I need to purchase a Direct Attach storage device. It will need to store 3-4TB of video files. I have narrowed down my search to three companies: Dulce Systems (4TB Quad), Sonnet Technologies (4TB Fusion), and CalDigit (HDPro). My budget is $5000. I am looking for any suggestions or feedback on any of these systems or advice on another system. I am finding it very difficult to find people who have worked with any of these devices other than the sales staff for each company. This is a big investment for me. I want to make the most informed decision I can. This forum has always had good advice, Im hoping a few people can help me out.
        • 1. Re: Direct Attach SATA 4TB Storage Solution
          Level 1
          Hi Lawerence,

          when you say 4TB Quad, do you mean a total of 12 Terrabytes ?

          I am looking for new storage, but may opt for a smaller 2 TB drive, - there are 2 different models, one that you can attach to your network, via ethernet cable, and one model that is non-network capable.

          This model is here: (Costco $499.99 )
          If the above link doesn't work use this one: http://tinyurl.com/2oqh8e

          The more expensive model is $619.99 ( also a 2TB model )
          http://tinyurl.com/2w5w9b ( same url as the long one below )

          You can read more about these drives here:

          and here:

          • 2. Re: Direct Attach SATA 4TB Storage Solution
            llaferte Level 1
            Dulce Systems' "4TB Quad" is the name of their product - the quad only means it holds 4 1TB HDD. I looked at these, but thought I'd be better off with a RIAD 5 array (striping across HDD) over RAID 1 (mirroring). Also, this is to be Directly Connected to my PC - I do not need to access it over a network. Finally I think that these were Firewire connections. I've had trouble with Firewire in the past. My camera is Firewire, when both the camera and HDD are plugged in with Firewire (2 Firewire accessories) things tend to get hinky, drives are dropped, I need to re-boot a lot etc.

            I will take another look at these - the price is right (Costco Rules).
            • 3. Re: Direct Attach SATA 4TB Storage Solution
              Level 1
              Hi Lawrence,

              Hold off as long as you can, each time I go to Costco, their drives are always dropping in price !

              I remember seeing the WD 1TB drive at one point, and it was $469, and then a month later it was $399, and then it dropped more, and then more.

              I always get a kick out of checking prices each time I go to Costco, just to see how fast drives are dropping in price.

              *Note* - if you want very good performance, don't forget about ESata drives. I own one, and it's extremely fast, - much faster than my FireWire drive enclosures.

              ESata drives come in a box, connect with a cable, but connect directly to the motherboard, and the throughput is very very high.
              ** - you have to supply your own hard drive **

              I bought my own enclosure awhile back, and popped a 500 gig Sata drive in it. Works like a charm and is lightning fast. Problem though, is that you have to have an eSata connection in the back on your computer ( but all new computers have this now I'm guessing )

              The enclosure I bought was this one:
              http://www.vantecusa.com/ ( NEXSTAR 3 )

              Transfer Rates Up to 3Gbps W/ eSATA
              Transfer Rates Up to 480Mbps W/ USB 2.0 (12Mbps W/ USB1.1)
              Transfer Rates Up To 400Mbps With Firewire
              Hot-Swappable: Plug And Play Without Rebooting

              ** I notice now, however, that they have a new dual-sata drive
              enclosure available. ( looks really nice ! )

              • 4. Re: Direct Attach SATA 4TB Storage Solution
                I got this Westerndigital world edition II Hard Disk 1GB. It is very slow and require mionet(WD AccessAnywhere)/internet connection to be recognised in my computer. You can use it without mionet but you have to map each folder to appear in my computer (it will appear in my network places). You also need to be consistent as everything you create using mionet you can't change without it and vice versa. It is based on SAMBA only so no NFS, etc.

                Mionet is interesting if you travel a lot. It will make you be able to share your file anywhere in the world (they said securely) but it is not free. There is yearly fee.

                Its transfer speed is only about 5MByte/s (around 40Mbps which explain my network utilization of around 40% on fast ethernet) because it is the limit of their internal processor (I ask WD about this so it is acurate). So it does not matter whether you got gigabit ethernet or not. Also it has limit on the file sized transfered. I have successfully transfered around 4 GB at a time (takes about 20min) but I when I transfered 12 GB (12 big files around 1 GB and few small files) it choked near the end (report error).

                It's 2 TB also based on 2 1GB HD with JBOD so it does not provide safety of data redundancy. It does offer RAID 1 (mirroring) but you got only 1TB.

                I use it for backup of my video (DIVX, XVID, WMV, etc) and it can stream these file OK. I have no idea how it will handle bigger data rates.

                I agree the fastest way is using eSATA drives. I plan to buy another 1GB eSATA drives when the price drop to store video and use WD as other purpose. Hope it helps.
                • 5. Re: Direct Attach SATA 4TB Storage Solution
                  I would definitely go eSATA. It's tremendously faster than FireWire and USB 2.0 (although USB 3.0, whcn it comes out, may catch up).

                  I bought a SansDigital MS2UT two-bay external eSATA enclosure online for $180 and two 1 TB drives ($287 each), so the total cost with shipping was $777. The SansDigital has an LCD on the front and a few buttons that make it very simple to choose between RAID 0, 1 and 5. It runs very cool and quiet, and it's easy to install the drives.

                  When you start adding large drive arrays, they can be hot and loud.
                  • 6. Re: Direct Attach SATA 4TB Storage Solution
                    llaferte Level 1
                    The devices Im talking about are* eSATA connected by a PCIe card added to a slot on the motherboard then hard-cabled to the unit. I will not need to use these for any remote access. My primary concerns are dependability, ease-of-use, data security, and lastly transfer speed. Does anyone have a strong sense that one of these (Dulce Systems, Sonnet Technologies, CalDigit) is going to be better than another? Im not a techy guy and I really dont have access to many techy folks so Im looking for a solid dependable solution.

                    *Again, not a huge techy guy but I think this is true.
                    • 7. Re: Direct Attach SATA 4TB Storage Solution
                      Level 1
                      Well I think you may need to look into RAID system like RAID 5. It offer a bit balance between cost, redundancy (dependability and data security), and speed. Also speed is quite important IMHO, otherwise it will take forever to transfer those 3-4 TB of data. However RAID 5 need at least 3 drives so bit bulky.

                      I am not familiar with those products that you mention. Perhaps anyone use it before can help you more.
                      • 8. Re: Direct Attach SATA 4TB Storage Solution
                        I purchased a Sonnet system a few months ago (Fusion 500P and X4P card) and have been very dissapointed. Even while running with a RAID 0 stripe, I wasn't getting the kind of performance I expected. Plus, it was extrememly unreliable- dropped drives were the rule, not the exception- and I finally lost my data when one drive failed. I was able to recover with software from R-Tools, but it was a pain.

                        While I don't have personal experience with Dulce products, I hear very good things about them. If you were to run one of their arrays in a RAID 5 configuration I think you would be very well off. I've moved to a 5-drive internal solution with an Areca card, and even with RAID 5 I'm getting faster transfer rates than I was with my Sonnet RAID 0. I'd expect no less from a Dulce system running RAID 5 with at least 8 drives. Solid choice.
                        • 9. Re: Direct Attach SATA 4TB Storage Solution
                          llaferte Level 1
                          Great. Thanks for the input.